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Educational Assistant

Educational assistants support students as part of a multidisciplinary team with teachers and other support personnel to provide meaningful instruction. Educational assistants also help teachers with non-instructional tasks.



Also Known As

Instructional Assistant, Program Aide/Assistant, Special Needs Educational Assistant, Teacher Aide, Teacher Aide

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants (6472) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants (G812) 
  • 2011 NOC: Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants (4413) 
  • 2016 NOC: Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants (4413) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants
2006 NOC : 6472

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

SOCIAL

Interest in assisting special-needs students such as those with mental and physical disabilities with mobility, communication and personal hygiene

METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to work under direct supervision of classroom teachers and other professionals such as special education instructors, psychologists and speech-language pathologists; in assisting with classroom inventory; in using techniques such as sign language, Bliss symbols or Braille; in monitoring and reporting to classroom teacher on student progress; and in monitoring students during recess and noon hour

innovative

Interest in handling techniques of behaviour modification, personal development and other therapeutic programs; in preparing classroom displays and bulletin boards; in assisting in the preparation of learning materials and environment; and in accompanying and supervising students during activities in school gymnasiums, laboratories, libraries and resource centres, and on field trips

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated May 18, 2021

Educational assistants work for early intervention programs, schools, summer camps, child care centres and other learning organizations. They support students, teachers and other professionals. In a school setting, they may:

  • Be supervised by 1 or more teachers
  • Work with students who have special needs
  • Work with 1 or more students in the classroom and other settings
  • Supervise students in structured (classroom) and unstructured (hallways, recess, lunch hour) settings
  • Help prepare materials and do clerical tasks as required

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, they:

  • Support students to be included in the classroom and school
  • Implement lesson and behaviour plans for students as directed by the teacher
  • Support students to participate in learning activities
  • Help students with lessons and assignments
  • Demonstrate activities
  • Set up and take down displays, play spaces and work spaces
  • Report on student behaviour and progress
  • Help students with physical and personal care needs
  • Encourage positive student behaviours
  • Conduct oral tests or act as a scribe for students
  • Collect and prepare learning materials and use assistive technology to support learning
  • Help with school-wide special events and activities
  • Supervise children during lunch and recess breaks or field trips
  • Support students to build good relationships at school
Working Conditions
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Educational assistants work indoors except when supervising students outdoors or on field trips. They may need to lift items weighing up to 10 kilograms. Sometimes, heavier lifting may be required (for example, to help students move in and out of wheelchairs).

Those who work in school systems usually have the same holidays as teachers. However, most work on a contract basis and are not paid during the summer months. Some school districts pay over the 12-month period and provide benefits for those in permanent positions. Work may include after-school hours to attend staff or committee meetings.

Private-sector schools may employ educational assistants for the full calendar year.

Traits & Skills
Updated May 18, 2021

Educational assistants need:

  • Flexibility, patience, sensitivity, tolerance, enthusiasm, creativity and imagination
  • A positive attitude
  • Health and physical fitness
  • Speaking and writing skills
  • Keen observation skills
  • The ability to deal with the stress of working with 1 or more students who are active and demanding
  • The ability to interact with students, parents and staff in a tactful, empathetic manner
  • The ability to take direction and work alone or as a team member
  • The ability to keep student information confidential
  • A commitment to the development, progress and inclusion of students with special needs in education

They should enjoy:

  • Working with people (especially students with physical, emotional or behavioural disabilities)
  • Working within clear guidelines and finding innovative ways to handle situations

Creativity is essential as educational assistants may need to search for and use strategies that match a student's interests and learning styles.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants
NOC code: 4413

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 18 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 29, 2021 and May 23, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Help students individually or in small groups with assignments and reinforce learning and retention concepts under the supervision of classroom teacher
Assist students with integration into the classroom and school setting
Experience with Special Needs Children: Children with behavioural issues
Experience with Special Needs Children: Children with learning disabilities
Work Experience with Special Needs Students: Children with an intellectual disability
Work Experience with Special Needs Students: Assistance with communication
Educational Requirements
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary

Employers generally prefer to hire educational assistants who have a high school diploma and related post-secondary education. A first aid certificate, criminal record check and child intervention record check also may be required. Related experience is an asset.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

ABM College

Academy of Learning - Calgary Central

Academy of Learning - Calgary NE

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

Academy of Learning - Edmonton South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton West

Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat

Academy of Learning - Red Deer

Bay River College

Bow Valley College

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North

East-West College Brooks Inc.

East-West College of Business & Technology

East-West College of Business & Technology - Calgary City Centre

Glenbow College

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

Keyano College

Lakeland College

Mount Royal University

NorQuest College

Northern Lakes College

Reeves College - Calgary South

Reeves College - Edmonton

Reeves College - Edmonton North

Reeves College Edmonton South

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

The Royal Alberta College

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 18, 2021

Educational assistants may work full time or part time in:

  • Early intervention programs
  • Kindergarten to grade 12 public, separate and private schools
  • After-school programs
  • Post-secondary schools 
  • Child care centres
  • Summer camps and day programs
  • Home-schooling environments
  • Parent link centres, native liaison or other social services in which educational programming is offered

Advancement requires further education.

Educational assistants are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4413: Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants. In Alberta, 98% of people employed in this classification work in the Educational Services [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Educational Services industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 4413: Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 290 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated May 18, 2021

Salaries for educational assistant positions vary widely throughout the province.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants

2016 NOC : 4413
Average Wage
$22.40
Per Hour
Average Salary
$27,495.00
Per Year
Average Hours
24.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.4
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 4413 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $23.62 $19.04 $18.67
Overall $15.50 $29.54 $22.40 $22.50
Top $16.00 $30.96 $24.75 $24.32

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Educational Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

70%
70%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

17%
17%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

Vacancy Rate

0%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 18, 2021

Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) website: www.teachers.ab.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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